Johnson brings strong clinical development, regulatory, and medical affairs industry expertise.

CHICAGO (January 5, 2023) – The Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO), the trade association that represents the 91,000 jobs in Illinois’ life sciences sector, today announced the addition of Dr. Kenneth E. Johnson, Xeris Biopharma to the board of directors. Dr. Johnson has been an active member of iBIO’s Government Affairs and Rare Disease committees. 

“Dr. Johnson brings a wealth of experience to iBIO’s board of directors. His perspective is critical to iBIO’s mission as we are working together to foster more industry growth in Illinois,” said John Conrad, iBIO president and CEO. “Since 2018 the pharmaceutical industry in Illinois grew by 10%, while the private sector declined. Companies like Xeris are leading this growth in our community.” 

“As a growth-oriented biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Chicago, Xeris is fully supportive of iBIO’s mission to expand life sciences innovation in Illinois and I look forward to joining the board of directors,” said Dr. Johnson

Kenneth E. Johnson, PharmD, Xeris Biopharma
Dr. Johnson is currently serving as the Senior Vice President, Clinical Development, Regulatory, Quality Assurance and Medical Affairs at Xeris Biopharma. Dr. Johnson is responsible for leading these efforts to effectively generate high-quality scientific and clinical evidence for Xeris’ products to support product approval, advance clinical education and practice, inform policy, and improve health outcomes for patients. Dr. Johnson has more than 30 years of professional experience in the pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical benefits management, and academia. Dr. Johnson was previously Executive Director, US Medical Affairs for Hospital Specialty Products at Merck. Previously, Dr. Johnson held senior management positions in Medical Affairs and Outcomes Research at Circassia Pharmaceuticals, Durata Therapeutics, Horizon Pharma, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, NeoPharm, Searle/Pharmacia, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Dr. Johnson received his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Minnesota and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. Dr. Johnson holds a number of adjunct academic appointments and is a member of several professional societies.

With the addition of Dr. Kenneth Johnson, the iBIO board of directors has 22 members. Last October, iBIO announced the addition of Rahul Jerath, senior director, head of Oncology Business Development & Acquisitions at AbbVie; Phil Tennant, senior vice president and head of Oncology Business Unit at Astellas Pharma, Inc. and Joe Whalen, senior vice president, Alliances & International Business Development at Horizon Therapeutics.


About iBIO
The Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO) is a life sciences industry association that represents the 91,000 life sciences employees in Illinois. iBIO promotes the industry’s value to the public and policymakers; connects innovators to investment and talent; stimulates collaboration and fosters the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to transform patient lives through groundbreaking research and works to grow the Illinois economy. To learn more about iBIO and its programs, visit